Almond Crusted Chicken

4.9 from 8 votes
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Tender and juicy chicken, crunchy sliced almonds, and a tangy cherry balsamic sauce – this easy Baked Almond Chicken recipe has it all. These almond-crusted chicken breasts are filling and flavorful, and take about 30 minutes to put together. It’s a nutty twist that gets an extra flavor boost from that sweet and savory sauce.

Cherry sauce tops a piece of almond crusted chicken.

Why You’ll Love This Almond Chicken Recipe

  • Cuisine Inspiration: American
  • Primary Cooking Method: Oven
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free option
  • Skill Level: Easy

While I have made gluten free KFC Popcorn Chicken and even breaded Air Fryer Chicken Fingers, I do like to come up with gluten free ways to “crunchify” my chicken that don’t require buying special ingredients, like gluten-free bread crumbs. A bag of sliced almonds in my pantry was my inspiration, as was the sauce on this Apricot-Balsamic Chicken from Recipe Girl.

I switched up the sauce a bit, using cherry preserves instead of apricot, and spooned it on top of the almond-crusted chicken breasts. This created a serious explosion of flavors and textures that this sweet-and-savory-loving mama just can’t get enough of. The kids love it too, especially when they can use the extra sauce for dipping their veggies.

That’s all to say, here’s why you’ll love it too:

  • Gluten Free. Forget the breadcrumbs and rely on naturally gluten-free almonds to make this satisfying main dish. The almonds add a bit of texture that’s entirely gluten-free.
  • Flavorful. The nutty crunch of the almonds perfectly balances the juicy chicken breast while the cherry preserves swirled with balsamic vinegar make a wonderfully tangy-sweet sauce to drizzle over the top.
  • Not your ordinary chicken recipe. Chicken is a go-to ingredient for my family, and I’m always looking to go beyond a basic baked chicken breast. This easy recipe is big on flavor and texture, making it memorable as well as simple to make. It’s even worthy of a holiday or special occasion.
Pieces of almond crusted chicken are arranged on a serving dish with a bowl of sauce next to it.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make this almond crusted chicken recipe. You will find the full ingredient amounts in the recipe card at the end of this post.

For the Chicken

  • Chicken: I like thin chicken breasts in this recipe.
  • Greek Yogurt: You can use low-fat or full-fat plain Greek yogurt. If you need to make it dairy free, mayo is a good substitute.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Sliced Almonds: Or you can use chopped almonds.

For the Sauce

  • Olive Oil: I always use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Onion: A sweet onion is preferable in this recipe or you can use a yellow onion.
  • Thyme: Fresh is best, or substitute dried thyme.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cherry Preserves: Or substitute fruit preserves of choice.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar wonderfully offsets the sweetness of the preserves and is preferable to other vinegars in this recipe.
The ingredients for almond crusted chicken are shown with text labels, including chicken breasts, sliced almonds, cherry preserves, salt and pepper, dried thyme, balsamic vinegar, Greek yogurt.

How to Make Almond Crusted Chicken

Follow along with the photos below to get an idea of how to make this recipe. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.

  • Prepare. Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet. Combine the Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper.
  • Coat. Dredge the chicken in the yogurt mix and coat it with sliced almonds.
  • Coat both sides. Dip both sides of the chicken in the almonds and place the pieces on the baking sheet.
  • Bake. Cook the chicken for 15-20 minutes.
  • Make the sauce. Cook the onion in oil in a pot.
  • Stir. Add the remaining ingredients, and cook for about 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy. Spoon the cherry-balsamic sauce over your almond chicken and serve with your favorite sides. Keep reading for my suggestions to make it a meal.

A blue plate holds a piece of almond crusted chicken and vegetables.

Tips for Success

This simple almond chicken recipe has become a staple, and it’s hard to mess it up!

Here are a few tips to ensure the best results:
  • Pound the chicken. For the tenderest chicken, pound it before using it in the recipe. Place the chicken breast on a cutting board, cover it with a piece of plastic, then use a mallet or rolling pin to pound it flat.
  • Use a meat thermometer. To check that the chicken is fully cooked, your best bet is to use a meat thermometer. Chicken is safely cooked to doneness when the thermometer reads 165°F.
  • Try different nuts. You can use this method for almond crusted chicken to substitute other nuts. For example, chopped or crushed pecans are wonderful in place of the almonds. You could also use chopped almonds instead of sliced, or chopped walnuts.
  • Another fruit preserve. Cherry and balsamic vinegar play so nicely together, but other fruit preserves will work well too. Try apricot, tomato, or even blackberry preserves in place of the cherry preserves in the sauce.
A fork digs into a serving of almond crusted chicken alongside vegetables.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Here’s how to store any leftover almond crusted chicken so that you can enjoy it again another time:

  • Fridge – Place cooled, leftover pieces of chicken in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store the sauce separately in an airtight container – I like a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid – in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Freezer – Wrap individual pieces of chicken in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe sealable bag or freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the chicken in the fridge before reheating it.
  • To Reheat – Place the chicken on a lined baking sheet in an oven heated to 350°F. Heat the chicken until warmed through. The sauce can be warmed in a pot on the stove over low heat or in the microwave for 30-second intervals until warm.
Cherry sauce tops a piece of almond crusted chicken.

Make It A Meal

This crusted almond chicken makes a wonderful main dish, and you can add vegetables, rice, a salad, and more to make a complete meal. Here are a few of my favorite side dishes to serve with this nutty chicken:

A plate of almond crusted chicken topped with cherry balsamic sauce with more chicken pieces seen in the background.
4.9 from 8 votes

Baked Almond Chicken

Tender and juicy chicken, crunchy sliced almonds, and a tangy cherry balsamic sauce – this easy Baked Almond Chicken recipe has it all. These almond-crusted chicken breasts are filling, flavorful, and take about 30 minutes to put together. It's a nutty twist that gets an extra flavor boost from that sweet and savory sauce.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 1 pound thinly sliced chicken breasts or chicken breasts pounded thin
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups sliced almonds

For the sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, minced or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup cherry preserves
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

For the Chicken

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil or cooking spray.
  • Combine the Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper in a bowl or plastic bag.
  • Add the chicken, and mix to completely coat each piece.
  • Place the almond in a shallow dish.
  • Dip the coated chicken into the almonds to cover on both sides, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. While the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.

For the Sauce

  • While the chicken is cooking, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add onion, and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Add the salt, pepper, and thyme, and saute for another minute or two.
  • Add the preserves and vinegar, and stir until the preserves melt and the sauce is thickened,, about 5 minutes.

Notes

This recipe was adapted from Recipe Girl’s Apricot-Balsamic Chicken
Nutrition Facts
Baked Almond Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 480 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 592mg25%
Potassium 742mg21%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 78IU2%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 132mg13%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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45 Comments
  1. LIZ

    5 stars
    Absolutely fantastic. I made exactly according to the directions. Served with mashed sweet potatoes and zucchini. Will definitely make this again! Was restaurant quality! Thank you!

  2. Too funny how you and I both went with chicken, but in opposite ways. I coated mine in cherries and topped it with almonds and you coated yours in almonds and topped it with cherries! Love it! Definitely going to try that almond coating sometime. Looks delicious.

  3. Lynn

    Oh, that looks delicious! Unfortunately, I’m the only one in my family who will eat fruit with meat — everyone else thinks it’s weird 🙁 No duck l’orange. No roast pork with apples. No brisket with apricots and prunes.

    I made a savory recipe, too. #19 “Cherry Almond Chicken Salad,” if you want to take a look.

  4. 5 stars
    Love your Improv Challenge recipe Brianne! It’s so easy to make a dessert with cherries and almonds as the main ingredients. Yours is quite unique, yet looks just as delicious!

    I find the sauce especially interesting. I’ve yet to try a fruit and balsamic sauce, though I hear they’re very tasty. I’m bookmarking your recipe to try at some point!

  5. Think you nailed it! Saw your recipe link up on the Challenge and thought “not a dessert, gotta check this one out”. Sounds super yummy – especially the salad. Pinning.

  6. hmmmmmmmmm! I was wondering about trying to make something-cherry-balsamic…
    Now I don’t have to experiment — your sauce looks quite tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

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